Zeid was standing up for his colleagues - UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, who the government wants declared as a terrorist; and UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, who has been on the receiving end of Duterte's tirades.
This drew the ire of the opposition, with Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao saying that this order only confirmed the human rights violations being done by authorities. "These attacks can not go unanswered", Zeid said Friday.
He said the Philippine leader "needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination".
Roque said the remarks came at an inappropriate time, considering that talks on a possible investigation by the UN is being discussed by the Foreign Affairs Department and the UN Secretary General. "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable".
"These human rights [people] are dumb", Duterte added.
Critics said Duterte in his public pronouncements ordered or encouraged policemen to kill those involved in drug trafficking, resulting in thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings. After months of threatening to take action, earlier this month the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary investigation into Duterte's war on drugs, probing potential crimes against humanity.
"Rather than attacking human rights bodies and human rights defenders, we urge the government to display honest commitment to transparency and the rule of law by allowing unhampered investigations to take place", the commission said.
Roque earlier said the administration is open to having a United Nations expert investigate the country's drug war, as long as Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard is out of the picture. "Why? Because you are insulting me. Why?"
MALACAÑANG on Monday, March 12, believed President Rodrigo Duterte is not likely to fulfill his threat to feed United Nations (UN) experts to crocodiles as "there will be no occasion to push them".
"This is, of course, unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", Zeid said.
The Government petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group. They are accused of "using acts of terror" to sow fear and panic and to overthrow the government, according to the petition, filed at a Manila court.
Also on the list were four former Catholic priests and former congressman Satur Ocampo, who said he would challenge any "terrorist" label.
"The achievements made by the Philippine government led by President Duterte on these fronts have won great approval and extensive support among the Philippine people", the Chinese foreign ministry pointed out in a statement.